Positive MotoGP Testing for Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP Team
The Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP Team has completed a private MotoGP test at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. During testing, 2015 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Maverick Viñales and team debuted Suzuki’s highly anticipated seamless gearbox on the GSX-RR MotoGP bike.
Aiding Viñales at Sepang were Suzuki test riders Takuya Tsuda and Nobuatsu Aoki, who were on site collecting valuable data for Suzuki’s R&D team before winter break.
Aleix Espargaro was absent from the tests due to an injury suffered last week while training. Espargaro had suffered from a flexion fracture to his vertebrae. The Spaniard is now making the best of a 14 to 21 day recovery period.
Viñales, Tsuda and Aoki tested the new Michelin tires and unified ECU software, which will be utilized in 2016 by all MotoGP teams. The focus, however, was the seamless gearbox that was equipped on all GSX-RR MotoGP bikes. Working together, Viñales, Tsuda and Aoki worked with improved set-up configurations and electronic settings, resulting in a very satisfying round of testing.
Viñales appeared to be highly optimistic about the tests, citing a great strides with the GSX-RR: “These two days have been very intense; we tested many many things and I’m happy because I could try the 2016 electronics. The first touch was positive and it left me with the feeling that it has a great potential, but we still have so many things to work on and there’s room to improve. I’m also happy I could test the new seamless, we were expecting it and my impression is very positive.
“The track was not really clean which meant I couldn’t push really hard, but for our team the testing was good. Now we have plenty of information to work on during the winter and get ready for the next test in February. To go for the winter break with such a good feeling is positive and it gives me great hopes for the further improvements. Now I can take a little rest and then start training again to be ready for the next tests in February.”
Davide Brivio also provided some insight to the future of the Suzuki’s testing, as well as the challenges they’ve faced thus far: “These have been two very intense days but the outcome of the test is positive. We had few things to test, among which we managed to test the new seamless gearbox and I am happy that Maverick had a first positive impression. We also had the chance to compare some chassis parts and gathered important information for the winter development.
“We also started to work with the 2016 unified software – the test team already started with it in Valencia a couple of weeks ago – and we also gave it to Maverick. On this area we still have much work to do but the start was positive. For us this test has been very important to give the directions to work-on in the winter that we were called to do. We also tested new tires for Michelin and found some good improvements to be worked on further in the future.
“In February we will be testing here again for the first IRTA test and we will try to finalize then even further improvements, especially in electronics. Unfortunately, Aleix could not join us so he will have a chance to test those items in February, hopefully after further improvements. We also had the support of our test riders Tsuda and Aoki who ran many laps to further investigate the new software and fine-tune the seamless gearbox.”